Neck reining with snaffle bit?
Everybody uses curb bits to neck rein. There was an article in the current horse illustrated about training a horse to neck rein and how you can start with a snaffle and graduate to a curb. What is the benefit of having a curb bit? More leverage? But what are the pros of having more leverage?
A good horse should be able to neck rein in whatever bit you want them to, whether it's a snaffle, curb, or bitless. The purpose of the curb bit is not to gain more leverage or have stronger cues (though that is why many people use them). The purpose of a curb is to allow more subtle cues. A horse in a curb bit should be able to feel even the slightest flick of the reins and you shouldn't have to actually contact the mouth with the bit in order to stop them. Simply raising your hand and lessening the slack in the reins should be enough. A curb, by design, also encourages a horse to lower their head and break at the poll because it puts pressure on the bars, jaw, and poll. All that can be acheived with a snaffle but the more complex cues from a curb just make it easier.
When horses are being started in snaffles, people train them to neck rein then. You dont need the horse to be in a curbit to train them to neck rein. Otherwise most horses would be neck reining till they were in the bridle (in a curb bit meaning there well broke basically) lol. Like smrobs said a good horse should be able to neck rein in anything even a piece of bailing twine.
Not trying to hijack the thread or anything but here is a good example. This filly had 11 rides on her at the time of the video, she had the basic idea of neck reining down and was fairly consistent with it so I transitioned her to the curb like I do with all my horses. The vid is not real easy to see because I had to leave the camera sitting on a post since I was by myself but the reins remain loose the entire time. There was only a couple of times that I contacted the bit at all and that was when she was either confused about where the pressure was or wasn't wanting to listen. After I corrected her, she went back to being responsive on a loose rein. Even on the stops, I didn't contact the bit, just picked up the slack from the reins. BTW, don't mind her head shaking, it isn't because of the bit. It was in the summer and it was humid and the flies were out something awful. They were eating us both alive.
That makes sense, so basically they can feel your every move with the reins. More so than with a snaffle.
The only thing I dont like about curbs is that you can't do a ORS.
You can if you get the right kind of curb. I thoroughly dislike any curb with stationary shanks so my horses all get ridden in a short shanked, swivel shank, medium ported solid mouth curb. that is about as mild as you can get in a curb bit but because the shanks swivel, you can still do a one-rein stop.
Can you post a picture of the bit you like to use?
This is the exact bit that I use on all my horses after they are well started.
Tack Outlet Superstore - Quality Products At Outlet Prices - Training Snaffle
And that is the site that I ordered it from.
I recently bought this bit from Chicksaddlery and I really like it. Not only do the cheeks swivel but the mouth piece does as well.
That's a variation of a Billy Allen mouth piece. It's my all time favorite bit and one that I've used successfully for over 15 years on a wide variety of horses- mine has a slightly different shaped mouth.
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